AC gearmotors are an economical, easy-to-use choice for fixed-speed or variable-speed velocity control applications. Winding options include AC fixed speed, PSC (permanent split capacitor) or split-phase (single-phase) windings, or the more popular variable-speed AC three-phase, inverter-duty windings. Because there are fewer moving parts and no brushes to replace, AC gear motors are a cost-effective, maintenance free, and simple drive solutions for many industrial applications such as conveyor systems, food processing equipment, medical equipment and factory automation. AC gearmotor styles are: parallel shaft, planetary/inline, hollow shaft and right-angle worm gearmotors, with rated power from 1/25-3/4HP, gear ratios from 5:1 to 3600:1, and rated torque up to 1000 lb-in (113 Nm).
Bodine permanent magnet DC (PMDC) and Brushless DC (EC) gearmotors provide quick acceleration, and deceleration, easy reversing, and high starting torque. PMDC gear motors also offer predictable performance because the output torque of a PMDC geared motor is directly proportional to its input current, and the gearmotor output speed is directly proportional to the applied voltage. A PMDC gearmotor-and-control drive system often costs less than comparable inverter-duty AC geared motors and drives. 12 and 24 VDC gearmotors are ideal for low-voltage applications driven by batteries or solar power supplies, and are frequently used in mobile, portable and off-grid equipment. Due to their high starting torque, PMDC gearmotors are also frequently found in applications where the load is highest during start-up, such as conveyors and mixers. Bodine parallel shaft, hollow shaft, right-angle and Hypoid PMDC gearmotors are rated from 1⁄4 to 1/2 HP, with speed from 0.7 to 658 rpm and rated torque up to 1535 lb-in (173 Nm).
What is a Gearmotor?
Gearmotors (also called geared motors or gear motors) are small electric motors designed with an integral (non-separable) gear reducer (or “gearhead”) attached to the AC, PMDC or BLDC motor. Gearmotors function as torque multipliers and speed reducers, requiring less motor power to drive a given load. The gear housing design, the gearing type, gear lubrication, and the specific mode of integration all affect the gearmotor performance and life.
This integral gear motor design eliminates the need for motor and gearhead couplings, it eliminates the risk of possible motor and gearhead misalignment, and it eliminates the guesswork of sizing a motor and gear reducer for the user. The key design feature of a small integral gearmotor is that the motor end shield (blue) at the drive end of the motor is designed to provide a dual function:
The end shield side facing the motor provides the armature/rotor bearing support and a sealing provision through which the integral rotor or armature shaft pinion passes.
The side of the end shield that is facing the gearhead provides multiple bearing supports for the gearing, and a sealing and fastening provision for the gear housing.
There are two main styles of gearboxes: those with output or drive shafts that are oriented parallel or inline to the motor armature or rotor shaft, and those with output or drive shafts that are oriented at a 90° or right-angle to the motor shaft.
Parallel Shaft Gearmotors (AC or DC)
Parallel shaft gearmotors are also called “inline offset” gear motors. These gearmotors reduce the motor speed (typically from 1700, 2500 or 3400 rpm) to as low as 0.4 rpm, and as high as 550 rpm. Common winding options are AC fixed speed PSC or split-phase, or the more popular variable-speed AC three-phase, inverter-duty designs. DC gearmotors are either driven by permanent magnet DC (PMDC) or brushless DC (BLDC) motors. In general, parallel shaft gearmotors have a higher output torque, efficiency, and lower backlash than right-angle worm gearmotors.
Planetary/Inline Gearmotors (PMDC or BLDC)
Planetary gearmotors are integral gearmotors with the motor shaft in-line with the gearhead output shaft. A planetary gearhead is comprised of the motor pinion acting as the “sun” gear, a ring gear, and a planet carrier assembly that uses three to five planet gears. The output shaft is attached to the planet carrier of the output stage. Planetary gear motors deliver higher torque and lower backlash than other parallel shaft (spur or helical gear) gearmotors of equivalent size.
Right-Angle and Hollow Shaft Gearmotors (AC or DC)
The output shaft of a right-angle (or hollow shaft) gear motor is at a 90-degree angle from the motor shaft. Bodine right-angle gearmotors feature either worm gearing or hypoid gearing. Worm gearboxes are a proven and economical solution for applications that require high speed-reductions in limited space, and with very smooth and quiet operation. Hollow shaft right angle gearmotors can be used in either left-hand or right-hand installations, and eliminate the need for sprockets, pulleys or shaft couplings. Worm gears have inherent self-locking ability depending on design and ratio. All Bodine right-angle worm gearmotors are permanently lubricated with high-performance lubricant, and feature bronze gears for high shock load capability. The worm gear is hardened and ground for high strength and long life.
Right angle Hypoid PMDC hollow shaft gearmotors have several advantages when compared with standard worm-and-wormgear right-angle gearmotors. While more costly to manufacture, hypoid gearmotors are more efficient, produce less heat, provide higher torque, and are usually smaller than equivalent gearmotors with worm-and-pinion reducers.
Bodine Electric offers three primary types of AC gearmotors:
Explore the three primary types of DC gearmotors offered by Bodine Electric:
With many AC and DC gear motor options, we understand that it can be challenging to know which model is right for your application. To help save you time we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you find the right solution. Click here to contact us if you need additional help, or open the “Questions?” tab on the right hand side of the screen to be connected with one of our gearmotor experts.
Gearmotors are ideal for applications that require high output torque in the smallest possible drive package, or when the motor output speed needs to be reduced. Their high torque-to-size ratio makes them the ideal drive solution for tight spaces, or when the overall machine design needs to be optimized for the smallest possible motor footprint. The inherent benefit of integral gearmotors is that they function as torque multipliers and speed reducers, requiring less motor power to drive a given load. The gear housing design, the gearing type, gear lubrication, and the specific mode of integration all affect the gearmotor performance, and application suitability.
You can purchase gearmotors directly from our website or from our extensive, global distributor network. Bodine Electric offers the broadest line of standard/stock fractional horsepower (FHP) gearmotors, motors, and speed controls (1/200 HP to 3/4HP).
- We have over 10,000 AC, PMDC and brushless DC electric motors, gearmotors and system matched motion controls in stock at our Peosta, Iowa (USA) warehouse.
- You can also order accessories (mounting brackets, terminal boxes, shaft kits, etc.) as well as replacement parts (brushes, springs, brush caps for our PMDC products).
- Most orders with premium routing (air shipments) ship the same day, if an order is entered before 1:00 p.m. CST, or within 24 hours (ground shipments).
- Orders shipped securely via UPS with order tracking.
- International orders ship via UPS Worldwide Express with order tracking.
- For quantity discounts, contact your local authorized Bodine distributor or your Regional Bodine Sales Manager.
Brushless DC (BLDC) gearmotors are typically quieter than PMDC gear motors or inverter-duty AC three-phase gearmotor and motor designs. PMDC gearmotors have carbon brushes that continuously “rub” on the commutator of the motor armature. This interaction, along with the DC power from an unfiltered SCR or PWM speed control can result in audible noise. Similarly, inverter-duty, variable speed AC motors and gearmotors emit some noise created by the PWM voltage supplied to the motor from the inverter (PWM speed control). Gear housing style and design, as well as the number of gear stages can also affect overall noise emitted from the gearmotor. Worm gearheads (right-angle gearmotors) are generally quieter than inline or parallel shaft gearmotors due to the differences in gear geometry and how the gear sets interact.
All our gearmotor, speed control, and gearmotor accessory user manuals, and our installation instructions can be downloaded from the Literature sections of our website. You can find them under the Support tab > Literature > User Manuals. We also offer a large collection of application notes that cover many frequently asked user questions. Also under the Support tab and in the Literature section are links to download our many product info sell sheets, our product SDS (safety data sheets) for gearmotor lubricants, and our main product catalog “S” and the Bodine Handbook.
Yes, it is possible to run more than one AC three-phase motor/gearmotor with one AC speed control (VFD).
Note: The motors/gearmotors must be AC 3-phase and inverter-duty. Second, the continuous output current of the speed control (variable frequency drive) must be greater than or equal to the sum of the rated motor currents.
Download our informative Gearmotor Selection and Application Guide – then consider these basic design criteria to determine which gearmotor is right for your application.
- Intermittent vs. Continuous Duty
- Speed and Torque
- Gearhead Life
- Output Torque
- PMDC vs BLDC or AC power
- Mounting Orientation
Order quantities and annual usage will factor into our pricing model for direct and indirect OEM customers. Besides volume discounts for repeat OEM orders and applications, we work with our OEM customers to optimize most of our gearmotor designs to meet your specific application needs. Design modifications can be made to improve performance or IP rating for customer-specific operating conditions, to add custom windings or mounting features, or to cost-reduce a design by eliminating unwanted design features. Please contact your regional Bodine sales manager to discuss your specific target price or application requirements. We look forward to hearing from you!
Inverter-duty gearmotors (and motors) feature variable speed, AC three-phase motor windings that are designed with a special winding insulation system to protect them from potential voltage spikes or corona damage caused by the AC “inverter” PWM speed control (Variable Frequency Drive / VFD). The special inverter-duty windings meet NEMA motor standard MG 1, Section IV, Part 31. In general, AC three-phase gearmotors and motors are more efficient than their AC single-phase counterparts, they are more compact, and provide higher output torques in the same size package. In addition, these variable-speed AC gearmotors and motors don’t require brush replacement or brush maintenance. Typical Applications are conveyor systems, food processing equipment, factory automation, pumps, lifts and packaging equipment.
AC Parallel Shaft Gearmotors
Simple to use, long life
Available with fixed- or variable-speed windings (PSC, split-phase, or three-phase). Our AC parallel shaft gearmotors provide rated speeds from 0.9 to 447 rpm, torque from 0.8 to 1000 lb-in, and up to 3/4 hp.
AC Right Angle Gearmotors
Flexible mounting, high torque
Available with fixed- or variable-speed windings (115V, 230V 460V). AC right angle gearmotors achieve speeds from 0.4 to 340 rpm, torque of 2.1-380 lb-in, and up to 3/4 hp. Hollow shaft models also available.
AC Inverter Duty Gearmotors
Variable Speed AC, 3-Phase
Our AC inverter duty gearmotors are offered with 230V or 230/460V windings. Speeds range from 9 to 340 rpm, torque of 7.4 to 1,000 lb-in, and power up to 3/4 hp (560 Watts).
DC Parallel Shaft Gearmotors
Quick acceleration and deceleration
DC parallel shaft gearmotors are available with rated speeds from 2.9 to 658 rpm, torque of 0.7 to 660 lb-in, and up to 1/2 hp.
DC Right Angle Gearmotors
Linear torque and speed curves
DC right-angle gearmotors are available with rated speeds from 0.7 to 500 rpm, torque of 5.2 to 380 lb-in, and up to 1/2 hp. Hollow shaft models also available.
DC Right Angle Hollow Shaft Gearmotors
Versatile mounting in tight spaces
DC hollow shaft gearmotors are available with rated speeds from 1 to 500 rpm, torque of 6.8-380 lb-in, and up to 1/4 hp.
Brushless DC Parallel Shaft Gearmotors
Zero Maintenance, Quiet Operation
Brushless DC parallel shaft gearmotors are available with rated speeds from 0.3-658 rpm, torque form 5.8-350 lb-in, and up to 3/8 hp.
Brushless DC Right Angle Gearmotors
Quick acceleration and deceleration
Brushless DC right angle gearmotors are available with rated speeds from 0.7 to 500 rpm, torque from 11-147 lb-in, and up to 3/8 hp.
INTEGRAmotor BLDC Gearmotors
Gearmotor, control, and feedback in one compact package
Brushless DC "INTEGRA" gearmotors typically feature 24V windings. Available with rated speeds from 0.7 to 500 rpm, torque from 5 to 341 lb-in, and up to 1/4 hp.